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  1. #1
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    The Raleigh 20 folder bike

    Does anyone have any experience with vintage folding bicycles? I am intrigued with the Raleigh 20 folders from the late '60s-early 70's. They seem to be great bikes. Are they good for taking in buses, trains, etc? What kind of ride do they have? Thanks!

  2. #2
    Senior Member Foldable Two's Avatar
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    Good bikes (lots of folks on here have restored and ride them) but they do not fold small enough to take on mass transit, IMO.

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    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Mine ride just like my big Raleigh 3 speeds. I have made modifications to mine, but it still looks pretty much stock. I enjoy riding mine, but if you are looking for light weight or small fold, that is not a Raleigh Twenty.

    Aaron


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    What is the weight of the Raleigh Twenty, more or less?

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    smallwheelsonly
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    What is the weight of the Raleigh Twenty, more or less?
    They are around 17kg=38lbs stock but most lighten it up by replacing the steel parts

    i had mine down to 9.5kg=21lbs

    Last edited by EM42; 08-08-11 at 09:35 AM.

  6. #6
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    The Raleigh Twenty has a large and devoted following around the world and was sold under many of Raleigh's sub brands like Phillip's, Triumph, B.S.A., and was even sold as a re-branded bicycle for Canadian Tire stores in Canada.

    There are small variations between the brands and they were also produced in New Zealand... these models lack the lower double strut which is not actually needed structurally but does lend a greater appearance of the bike being more solid.

    We have 2 Raleigh 20's in original and nearly original condition, one os a British model with 451 wheels and the other is an export model with the more common 406 BMX size. I also have a Phillip's 20 that is one of the most heavily tweaked 20's on this planet and can barely be called a 20 anymore.

    The stock 20 weighs 36 pounds and their biggest issue is wheels and braking, especially on the 406 models... long reach alloy calipers and steel rims does not equal good braking and replacing the stock rims with better alloy ones is the best thing you can do for them. The 451 equipped models stop better as despite their steel rims, they have shorter and stiffer steel calipers and with good brake pads they stop reasonably well.

    As my 20 can reach 50kmh on the flats and descend at ludicrous speed it warranted better brakes but that required the use of a torch to add v brake bosses... the stock fork can also be refitted with canti / v brake bosses although this comes at a higher cost and warrants a re-paint of the fork.

    My P20... this has taken a great deal of work but I work as a mechanic and frame builder so have access to all the tools and parts one would ever want to do such things.

    The 20 also benefits from having less rake in the fork to increase trail... I replaced mine with a custom model but the stock fork can also be modified.

    2011forrestbuild1.jpg

    Another small and rather inexpensive modification is to hybridize the headset to remove the stock nylon top bushing and fit the bike with a real headset... this allows for smoother steering and no handed riding which is something that is very hard to do on a stock 20.

    This is where many of the nutters hang out...

    http://raleightwenty.webs.com/

  7. #7
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    em42... my kids would call that 20 "sick".

    Nice bit of work there.

  8. #8
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    My aunt gave me her old Raleigh 20 shortly before her death. I modified it by converting it to derailleurs gears with new wheels, an aluminum crankset, cantilever brakes, real front drop outs replacing the crimped fork ends, and a real headset instead of the thing with a plastic sleeve on top. It now rides better. I set it up for my wife, but she uses it with her sister when she comes to visit. My wife then rides my homemade folding bike, also with 20 406 wheels. The Raleigh still needs a paint job.

  9. #9
    Senior Member social suicide's Avatar
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    Vintage folders! Where?

    My Raleigh Twenty is also modded. Cane Creek Thudbuster seatpost, Sturmy Archer XRF-8-W hub, Origin8 crankset, Phil Wood rings with the UN-72, Sun Rhyno Lites, Maraton racers etc. Its a game we play on the internet. Try to stay away from those U frame folders they ride like wet noodles.

  10. #10
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    One of the coolest things about riding a folder of any kind is the responses you get from people who think that they are; slow, only suitable for sidewalks, twitchy, incapable of handling any distances, or rough riding.

    My P20 is fast, smooth, and I have built it up to use as a separable touring bike... it took me 5000 km last year and has seen further modifications.

    Quite a few of my friends have folders and have taken my P20 out for a spin and come back saying that it is as stable a bike they have ever ridden and really bleeping fast.

    I have yet to restore the fenders and build new racks and even with that extra weight and my touring kit the little bike just buzzes down the road at good speed.

  11. #11
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    What are good mods to start with that are easily arranged for with a local bike shop? I'm no mechanic here!

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    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by charvalino View Post
    What are good mods to start with that are easily arranged for with a local bike shop? I'm no mechanic here!
    Replacing the front wheel with an alloy one and fitting salmon kool stops is where I would start.... it is always nice to be able to stop.

    After that, the sky really is the limit.

  13. #13
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    Somehow, I have 2 - an ebay and a local organization auction. They are VERY heavy. Probably will last forever but not for easy handling and it isn't easy to get them into a car trunk either

  14. #14
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    Well, I purchased one the other day on ebay, and it is the maroon-type color. Seems to be 100% stock at the present time. I hope it will be here within a week or so. Does the stock seat post extend well enough for someone around 5'11"?

  15. #15
    lowlife bottom feeder BassNotBass's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by charvalino View Post
    What are good mods to start with that are easily arranged for with a local bike shop? I'm no mechanic here!
    If you get a vintage folder with an ashtabula crank you can buy a conversion BB for about $20 to run alloy three piece cranks. I honestly prefer the larger BB over the smaller standard BB for a utilitarian/commuter bike because the bearings are huge and can handle large loads and they are serviceable so with proper maintenance they can last indefinitely. Their only downsides were the limitations of crank arm lengths and chainring choices but that's no longer a concern with the conversion kit.
    http://sunlitecycling.com/product_de...OTTOM+BRACKETS
    Last edited by BassNotBass; 08-09-11 at 06:50 AM.
    I plan on living forever... so far so good.

  16. #16
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by charvalino View Post
    Well, I purchased one the other day on ebay, and it is the maroon-type color. Seems to be 100% stock at the present time. I hope it will be here within a week or so. Does the stock seat post extend well enough for someone around 5'11"?
    Yes, unless you have abnormally long legs. I am 6'-2" with a saddle to pedal measurement of nearly 39". The stock seat post falls short for me, but you can get alloy ones for reasonable prices that will stretch it out.

    Aaron
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

    ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

    "Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
    RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
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    "Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
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    Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
    _krazygluon

  17. #17
    Senior Member Russcoles11's Avatar
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    If you live in the UK or are exceptionally lucky, you might also see the Dawes Kingpin for sale. The two bikes are very similar, the Dawes is made with narrower tubing and I am told has a slightly more sporty ride. The big benefit of the Dawes is that it uses standard threading so a modern sealed bottom bracket can be easily inserted.

  18. #18
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EM42 View Post
    They are around 17kg=38lbs stock but most lighten it up by replacing the steel parts

    i had mine down to 9.5kg=21lbs

    I like that, but that is the fixed frame, I bet the hinge is at least a 3# penalty.

    Aaron
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

    ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

    "Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
    RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
    _Nicodemus

    "Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
    Aluminum: barely a hundred
    Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
    _krazygluon

  19. #19
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    The stock 20 looks neat in vintage state. When I get it in, I will head over to the bike shop to see what kind of maintenance/"tuning up" is needed. They'll probably have to work on cables and the 3-speed setup to make sure it is working well, I suppose. It will be interesting to see what kind of ride it is.

  20. #20
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    In PDX now and riding the '74 which has new rims , new levers, and better brake pads... forecast is for sun but it handles the rain quite well too with these upgrades.

    One other thing... the stock gearing is really quite high and a 15 tooth rear cog is pretty typical. Swapping this to take a littl off the top and improve the low end makes a big difference and the 20 here has a 19 tooth rear cog to make climbing long hills easier.

  21. #21
    Banned. folder fanatic's Avatar
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    http://sites.google.com/site/compactcycling/home

    I have a whole section on my Website devoted to restoring my own Raleigh Twenty last year. Click on the "Restoration Of My "New" Raleigh Twenty" link on the left menu when you land on my home page. I have all my photos and chronicled the whole process there.

  22. #22
    Banned. folder fanatic's Avatar
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    With my new locking system-see http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php/759187-My-Strapped-Together-Raleigh-Twenty-For-Storage-amp-Traveling?p=13065884#post13065884, I am able to take my own Twenty anywhere like my Brompton does now and former Dahons went.
    Last edited by folder fanatic; 08-10-11 at 08:51 PM.

  23. #23
    smallwheelsonly
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    I enjoy riding mine, but if you are looking for light weight or small fold, that is not a Raleigh Twenty.
    nice bikes Aaron

    em42... my kids would call that 20 "sick".

    Nice bit of work there.
    my brain is SICK for me to spend so much effort to make it like this !

    fitting salmon kool stops is where I would start.... it is always nice to be able to stop.
    lol...so true !

    almost got into accident running stock steel rims during a rain i kept sqeezin and i though both of my brake cables broke the bike ain't stoppin !

    My Raleigh Twenty is also modded. Cane Creek Thudbuster seatpost, Sturmy Archer XRF-8-W hub, Origin8 crankset, Phil Wood rings with the UN-72, Sun Rhyno Lites, Maraton racers etc. Its a game we play on the internet. Try to stay away from those U frame folders they ride like wet noodles.
    Wow 3 Sears/Steyr Tote-Cyles there ! A rootbeer Schwinn Runabout, R20 and maybe a dutch Folder ?


    Swapping this to take a littl off the top and improve the low end makes a big difference and the 20 here has a 19 tooth rear cog to make climbing long hills easier.
    +1

    had to swap cogs on all my Twenties they're just geared too high for those big fat wheels

    With my new locking system-see http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...4#post13065884, I am able to take my own Twenty anywhere like my Brompton does now and former Dahons went.
    great idea there folder fan.

    hope we could ride ciclavia on the Twenty again coming up in October

  24. #24
    Banned. folder fanatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EM42 View Post

    .....great idea there folder fan.

    hope we could ride ciclavia on the Twenty again coming up in October
    Thank you. I do hope that this one won't be cancelled out like July's one was.

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    Any regular commuters with the Raleigh Twenty here? Any people here that take it on board with them when they take the bus or train? How easy is the frame folding mechanism to work with?

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